Brendan Iribe, former CEO of Facebook-owned virtual engineering company Oculus, leaves the company. Iribe published the news on Facebook and wrote that “after six incredible years I go on” from Oculus. Iribe gave no reason for his departure or says exactly what to do next. “Working with so many talented people at Oculus and Facebook has been the most transformative experience of my career,” he wrote. “This is the first real break I’ve been in for over 20 years. It’s time to load, reflect and be creative. I’m excited about the next chapter.”
Iribe was a founder of Oculus who helped Rift inventor Palmer Luckey to launch the experimental headset at Kickstarter 201
2. He served as CEO until 2016 when he went down to lead Oculus’ PC-based Rift VR division, and the CEO’s position was replaced by a “VR Roll for Facebook VP” held by by Hugo Barra. Iribe was striking absent at the Oculus Connect conference last month, where employee Nate Mitchell handled press interviews – and where PC-based VR was basically an afterthought compared to stand-alone mobile headsets. VRFocus confirms that Mitchell will lead the division forward.
This resignation comes one month after Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, co-founder of similarly acquired Instagram companies, suddenly left F acebook – reported that they were frustrated by over-management from the parent company. It is about a year and a half after Luckey himself has been expelled from Oculus sometime after being in the midst of a political controversy. (Zuckerberg has denied that Luckey was fired because of politics, though.)
Facebook does not depend economically on Oculus as it does Instagram; as Iribe pointed out in his departure post, VR is still an experimental field. And Iribe’s time at Oculus has been obviously smooth, but like Luckey, he was named in an intellectual property trial by the gaming company ZeniMax who won a verdict against Oculus (currently suspended at $ 250 million in damages) in 2017. So there is no clear reason for His departure – in addition to the apparent fact that Oculus has developed a lot during Facebook, and it’s not surprising to see some of its original members move on.